My salad dressing days

A slip of the tongue
December 31, 2006, 7:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

“An octopus floated by, and Little Whale called out, ‘Can you help me to sing?’ But the octopus just changed colour and danced away, moving all his eight testicles.”

“Mummy, what’s testi…?”

“TENTACLES! Sorry! TENTACLES! Those are the octopus’ legs!”



Happy Hogmanay from Edinburgh…
December 31, 2006, 6:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Posted by Picasa

This was the view from Princes Street at 3pm today. The sky was amazing. But I don’t envy the revellers now: it’s blustery and threatening to rain again.

Far better to bring in the New Year snuggled up at home. (And better still, sleep through the midnight chimes in blissful ignorance.)

Happy New Year! (And happy birthday, Peter.)

December 23, 2006, 10:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’ve tried it before. I’ve tried announcing at year end that next year will be The Year Of No More Things. Friends and relatives roll their eyes. Yeah right, you can hear them think.

You say that now but wait until the lure of the January sales. Or the chicklets’ birthday. Or doing the weekly shop without sashaying into the clothes/books/household goods section of the supermarket.

But I feel burdened by all my things. Weighed down, I lament.

It’s not good, is it, when you have boxes of things from your house move which you can’t yet unpack because in order to do so you need to buy more things in which to put those things.

Things to put things in equals more damn things.

So you give some things away. To charity shops, who trade in unwanted things which are wanted by others who lack an aversion to the accumulation of things. Which is all in the good.

Except when in taking your unwanted things to the charity shop, you come out with someone else’s unwanted things. Which is all in the good…for the charity. But not for thing-averse little you.

(Do you see how difficult it all is?)

So you freecycle things. And you marvel at the wonders of the internet and Yahoo user groups and the love and the generosity of spirit displayed by the man who wants to pass on at no cost to you his lovely shiny not-so-new thing that you never thought you needed, wanted, desired (until now).

Except that you were supposed to be offloading things not swapping them for different things.

And then there’s the telly. Telling you that there are plenty of shiny new things that you need. Telling your kids that they face a lifetime of social exclusion should they not possess some shiny new thing with an unpronounceable name whose function/use is far from clear.

You can, of course, not watch telly. Or only watch the BBC. Or Sky Plus everything (except that it’s not nice to give money to Rupert Murdoch, just like you should never accept sweeties from a stranger). Or, better still, you can freecycle your telly (except that this brings you into contact with the potential for acquiring more things for free).

That’s not to say that there aren’t some good things:

Things you genuinely need. Like a bed and a gas stove and Take That’s Greatest Hits.

And things that you can consume. Quickly. And without too much packaging, because that’s bad too. (Oh, God…).

But then your family say: you’re taking it to extremes! What the heck are we going to get you for your birthday?

And so you relent (on or around 3 January) and say: um, Take That’s Greatest Hits? Or maybe this cashmere top I saw in TK Maxx (reduced to £25 from £70!). Or a copy of ‘Stop Consuming! Start Living! Your 12-step programme to a simpler life’.

Why this blog must remain anonymous
December 20, 2006, 11:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

We’ve decided to worry about bird flu again.

A former bird flu government minister has said he’s worried that the foreign companies with whom the UK government has ‘sleeping contracts’ for the vaccine won’t end up handing over the goods when it comes to the crunch.

‘The crunch’ being: a pandemicky type of scenario.

On account of European competition laws, we were not allowed to just give contracts to UK pharmaceutical companies willy nilly, so some Italians and Eastern Europeans are going to be making the vaccines for us. Ya-ha!

Except that in the event of the pandemicky type scenario, there probably won’t end up being enough vaccines to go around, so the bird flu minister reckons (foreign) hoi polloi will be holding up employees of pharmaceutical companies and demanding that they hand over some vials of vaccine OR DIE. So they’ll never get anywhere near old Blighty.

(Although there is one pharmaceutical company in the UK which will manufacture the vaccine. In a major city. You think I’m gonna tell you WHICH major city? Uh-uh.)

So we read this article in a major newspaper (not telling you which one) and there then ensued a frenzied discussion between Mr Chick and I. But there is nothing worse than feeling like The Powerless Citizen and the health editor chipped in with his own opinion piece at the bottom saying the third way is for the UK government to get lots of Tamiflu for everyone, ’cause chances are the pandemicky type flu could be ‘related’ (technical medical terminology) so get everyone vaccinated and then start worrying about revolting Italians and Eastern Europeans.

Ever the small government man, Mr Chick does not feel that this will happen and concludes that bureaucracy is going to get in the way of our family’s healthcare needs and that we should find out where we can buy Tamiflu for our family members and stockpile it in our fridge, along with some masks, alcohol gel and tinned peaches.

I say: “What about the syringes? Y’know, for administering the jab?”
He says: “We will dress up shabbily and go to the local drug rehab centre and ask for some. Edinburgh is, after all, the AIDS capital of Europe!”
Top plan, I think to myself.

I say: “But who will do the injections? If we ask the GP, surely they will just try to nick the vaccines off us for their own families?”
He says: “You must do a nursing degree.”
I nod.

Other plans include:

* moving to the major UK city where a vaccine will be manufactured and find employment in said pharmaceutical company. As a scientist. After taking a degree in pharmacy.
* moving to Italy or Eastern European country and finding employment as night cleaner in relevant pharmaceutical companies. After taking night classes in Italian or Bulgarian.

Maybe we’re being silly. And maybe this is a big distraction whilst government officials work up their contingency plans for a far worse future pandemic about which they have yet to go public: Gerbil Flu.

Anyhoo. My blog must clearly remain anonymous, because otherwise someone will work out who I am and where I live and burgle my home to get hold of my stockpiled Tamiflu (and tinned peaches…and possibly corned beef – depends whether they sell it in Waitrose).

New uses for the humble toothpick #17
December 18, 2006, 10:21 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Scraping out freshly-trodden-in, compacted poo from the imprint of the sole of TS’s trainers*.

(This was not in the job description.)

* potty training – saynomore

Channelling my inner Nigella (it ain’t workin’)
December 12, 2006, 9:52 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I am in the midst of a Mad Baking Frenzy right now.

Yesterday morning it was Christmas biscuits (see above).

Yesterday evening it was Dutch Apple Cake (recipe from this blogger).

And this afternoon it was No Bake Banana Cheesecake (technically not ‘baking’ then).

Did you see how dismally my Adventures In Food Colouring went? Snot green, when what I was aiming for was forest green and tomato red, when what I was aiming for was holly berry.

And Nigella has, like, 300 cookie cutters and I have but a dozen.


But I like to think I can suck my fingers erotically* and flick my hair** back over my cashmere twinset*** just like The Real Thing (although where The Real Thing ends and Ronni Ancona begins, I no longer know).

* not since Mr Chick pinned me down and applied No Nail Bite
** not since I had my locks hacked
*** not since never, seeing as how I don’t own one

P.S. Did you notice how my mixed race Christmas biscuit man has been socially exluded by the two major ethnic groups on the cooling rack? Yep, it’s a cruel cruel world out there.

Too cute
December 11, 2006, 9:36 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s heartening to know that there are those who get here after scouring the internet for things other than ‘defecating women’ and ‘gorgeous 36f breasts’.

Following an edict from Kofi, no doubt, some UN official had cause to Google ‘plural of referendum’ and ended up here on my blog.

As (s)he discovered, I was equally clueless. Something about gerunds.

(United Nations)

New York, New York, United States, 0 returning visits

28th September 2006
WebPage of referendum